Equalities and schools

We support schools, academies and settings in Northumberland to improve the life chances of all pupils by ensuring that they are safe from discrimination. We are committed to ensuring that equality is promoted, and diversity celebrated.

We provide dedicated support for schools and academies across Northumberland. We are committed to ensuring that equality is promoted, and diversity celebrated.

If you have a concern, or require support to develop equality information and objectives for your school, please email gill.finch@northumberland.gov.uk.  

Protected characteristics
Children and young people are more likely to fulfil their potential in education when they feel safe, and know that the equality and principles of fairness are prioritised.

All schools and academies should work to eliminate all forms of bullying or discrimination, including:
  • homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic incidents and language
  • bullying related to race, religion, and belief
  • discrimination that relates to disability
Please click here for more information about protected characteristics.

PLEASE NOTE: Developing equality objectives in schools and academies is a legal requirement. Please email gill.finch@northumberland.gov.uk for support with being compliant with the law in this setting.

Please click here to find out more about this legal requirement.

Setting meaningful equality objectives
In addition to publishing refreshed equality information annually, each school and academy should publish at least one SMART objective. They must outline how it intends to address equality-related issues.

Each school is different, and will face different challenges.
Every school and academy should have its own accessibility plan. An accessibility plan must show how school access is to be improved for pupils/students, staff and visitors with disabilities in a given timeframe. It must anticipate the need to make reasonable adjustments where ever practicable.

This plan sets out the proposals of the Proprietor/Governing Body of the school to increase access to education for disabled pupils in three areas::

  1. increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum;
  2. improving the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services; 
  3. improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information, which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled.


Links to resources we have created for Northumberland schools and settings 

Northumberland Education:

There is a section of the Northumberland Education web site where you will find our latest Equalities Update

Padlet resources

Padlets are an interactive canvas where links, documents, images and files can all be stored together. They are produced by teams in the Education and Skills service here in Northumberland.

These include:
Northumberland Education Equality Toolkit
Supporting LGBT Young People in School: Online resources
Black History Month 2020 resources for schools
Gender Diverse Young People: Video clips and content to help explain the experiences of gender diverse young people
Protecting LGBT Young people from sexual exploitation: Some useful online resources
Intimate care: Developing policy and good practice in Early Years and school settings

Recommended external web sites

  • Stonewall education resources to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in education environments and give useful guidance to, for example, setting up an LGBT Youth Group 

  • educate egainst hate  The DfE counter radicalisation and extremism web site for teachers, school leaders and parents
Schools must demonstrate that they are vigilant in reporting and responding to hate speech an discrimination.

In Northumberland we do still collect racist incidents from schools. This is done via an online form
Intolerance and hate can often be seen as a precursor to radicalisation and extremism.
Your school's own safeguarding procedures should guide your responses to a young person expressing extremist views.

National Counter Terrorism Hotline
For anyone with concerns about radicalisation and extremism in their community, this hotline is free and confidential. If you have concerns, please call 0800 789 321.
Good community cohesion demonstrates commitment to valuing diversity and celebrating difference. Through combatting prejudice-based bullying and discrimination, it aims to broaden the horizons of pupils.

Citizenship and PSHE education offer opportunities to teach about safe relationships, respect and democracy.

Responsible citizenship also provides evidence of a school’s compliance with the legal equalities requirement to foster good relations.
Financial disadvantage is not a protected characteristic in equalities legislation. It does, however, have a negative effect on the achievement of many children and young people.

The following links are to key organisations working to diminish the inequalities for children experiencing financial disadvantage: Pupil premium strategies
There is a section of the Northumberland Education website which has a focus on disadvantaged pupils.

Please click here to access the Northumberland Education website.
We provide dedicated support for schools and academies across Northumberland. We are committed to ensuring that equality is promoted, and diversity celebrated. We have a dedicated Education Family Liaison Officer who supports Traveller, Persons Seeking Asylum, and Refugees at home and at school.

We are there to support:
  • Traveller, Persons Seeking Asylum and Refugee families with application to Free School Meals and transport if required
  • Schools and families, to facilitate the access of their children to a broad and relevant curriculum
  • Schools and other agencies that work with Traveller, Persons Seeking Asylum, and Refugee children
If you have a concern, or require support working with Traveller, Persons Seeking Asylum or Refugees, please contact Ian Luke at Ian.Luke@northumberland.gov.uk


Contact our Traveller, Persons Seeking Asylum and Refugee Education Family Liason Officer 

Ian Luke
Equalities Traveller & Asylum Seeker Education Family Liason Officer 
Equalities Team

Education and Skills Service
Wellbeing and Community Health Services Group
Armstrong Way
NE63 0YD